Bus accident rocks the hood

Picture by Angela Brown NBC12

Photo by Twitter user @billieblanco

Update 8:50 a.m. 1/9 from NBC 12 (video at the link);

GRTC Transit employees are trying to figure out what caused one of their buses to catch fire late Tuesday night.

It happened around 11 p.m. at the intersection of Forest Hill Avenue and Westover Hills Boulevard. The bus caught fire while stopped at the traffic signal.

Fortunately, no one but the driver was on board. That driver made it out safely. The bus was actually on its way to being serviced. No one was injured in this incident. Officials are still working to determine the cause of this fire.


Original post: If you heard a large boom last night around 11:45 – 11:50 you weren’t alone. It was heard as far away as the Museum District. After some sleuthing on Twitter and Facebook it turns out that a bus caught on fire on the corner of Westover Hill Blvd. and Forest Hill Avenue. The bus was not quite into the intersection heading west about 100 yards from the fire station.  The back quarter of  the GRTC bus showed fire damage. The rear tires are flat so I’m going to make an assumption that loud boom was the tires going. No sign of explosion (to my untrained eye)  or other damage. There were no ambulances on the scene when I arrived about 15 minutes after hearing the boom. Traffic was only blocked off in one direction for about a block. I’ll update this in the morning with more information. (Posted at 12:30 a.m. 1/9)


  1. #1 • Carrie •

    I’ve never heard of tires going flat that could be heard three miles away.

  2. #2 • DW •

    I thought it was the after-shock of Jon Stewart’s show. Worth checking out, if you missed it.

  3. #3 • Richard.H •

    Tire theory is all I’ve got. None of the reports account for the loud noise.

  4. #4 • Jeb Hoge •

    Don’t they run on compressed natural gas? The tank could have blown. Timing and location for this were probably very lucky.

  5. #5 • em •

    theres all sorts of compressed oils and gasses on these bus’s, not to mention the hydraulics.

  6. #6 • Scott Burger •

    Just came back from GRTC meeting downtown. There are a lot of Chesterfield commuters who are unhappy about fare hikes and reduced service. The funding for their routes are dwindling. They are not mad at service provider GRTC though, they are mad at their Supervisors for putting the sports complex ahead of GRTC transportation in terms of funding. Will this be a tipping point for regional transportation?

  7. #7 • Scott Burger •

    Sorry grammar police. ‘is dwindling’.

  8. #8 • Angela Brown •

    I took the top picture. The boom was indeed the back tires. I was sitting at the light when they popped. :)

  9. #9 • Willis •

    A Ford Taurus caught fire one day in the parking lot of my office….when the tires caught and finally exploded it was a extremely loud noise so I would venture to say your tire guess is a pretty good one.

  10. #10 • Richard.H •

    Thanks for the picture and the confirmation of my theory Angela.

  11. #11 • Jennifer C. •

    Tires always go “boom.” Most other systems that are designed to hold pressure (e.g. air-brake systems) have fail-safes built in, like pressure relieve valves. Tires, not so much.

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